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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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U.S. Agencies Unveil Competition to Develop Personal Pollution Sensor
6 June 2012 5:34 pm
In a first, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is jumping into the science prize game. EPA, together with the National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services, today announced a nationwide competition to develop new, highly portable sensors that can measure air quality while monitoring a person's physiological response to air pollution. Four finalists in the My Air, My Health Challenge will receive $15,000 and the opportunity to present a working prototype to judges, with $100,000 going to the winner.
The Obama Administration has been a fan of prizes as a way to stimulate innovation. But My Air, My Health marks EPA's first foray into competitions. EPA Science Advisor Glenn Paulson seems sold on the concept: "You're paying for the results, not for the research," he says. "It's one of the most effective and efficient ways to get something done."
NIH has been slow to get into the prize game, as well, but NIEHS Director Linda Birnbaum is also a fan of a little competition. "Grants fund the proposals that are most likely to succeed, but challenges give the prize to someone who has already achieved success," she says. An additional benefit: "These challenges lead to attracting outside investment to an area that's been a federal priority."
The first phase of the challenge requires participants to send in a written proposal that details their sensor design. Proposals are due by 5 October, and the finalists will be announced on 8 November. The four finalists will have 6 months to come up with a working prototype before a winner is chosen in 2013.